In order to use an online dating service, people start by creating a profile with basic information about themselves such as gender, age, location, and interests, and at least one photo. Most online dating services allow people to browse or search through a database of member profiles, although a few, such as Chemistry.com and eHarmony, only allow users to view profiles of matches who have already been deemed compatible by a computerized matchmaking system. Members can communicate by sending messages through the dating website without revealing any personal contact information.
The variety of dating sites is constantly growing, with many sites focused on very specific groups or interests. There are sites for seniors, sites for Muslims, sites for fitness-oriented people, sites for people just looking for friends and sites for people who are interested in more adult activities. In this article, we’ll be focusing on the most basic type of dating site –- one that works to bring two people together for a romantic relationship.
At the moment there are five different types of online dating services. 1) General Online Dating Services
These are sites like Match.com, LavaLife, Udate, and FriendFinder. In essence, these services give people full access to their member database. People sign up and can instantly browse any profile people want to find the right person. Some services will offer optional tests, quizzes, or guides to help people find what they’re looking for, but people always have the option to expand their search as wide as they want. 2) Relationship Services
Generally, these services target 'marriage-minded" people. The two biggest are eHarmony.com and Chemistry.com. Relationship services force people to fill out an in-depth personality profile that usually takes anywhere from 40-90 minutes to complete. Their answers are then used to calculate what type of people they are most compatible with. The service then provides them with only those matches. Unlike General Online Dating Services, people don't have access to everyone's profile - only those the service finds they best match up with. 3) Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites provide a way to connect with old friends while making new ones. They are also becoming an increasingly more popular place to meet people to date. The largest of the social networking sites are Facebook and Myspace. Others include Friendster and Orkut. 4) Niche Online Dating Services
Niche online dating services are sprouting up like crazy. These services look for one common denominator that people must share in order to be a part of the service. For example, TrekPassions.com is a niche online dating service for Star Trek and scifi fans. CatholicMatch.com is for people who are catholic. AnimalAttraction.com is for pet lovers. There are literally hundreds of these sites aimed to connect people who share a particular passion or belief.
5) Merging Online Dating Services
The newest type of online dating services to crop up are Merging Online Dating Services which merge aspects of the offline and online dating environment. For example, two new services (Peek a Bio and Chick n Chit) allow people to put a profile on their Website then print cards with their handle name and the site URL. When people run into someone interesting people can give them one of these cards so that they can learn more about people online then contact people through the service. In the months and years to come there will be many more Merging Online Dating Services hitting the market, trying to more closely tie in the offline experience with online experience.
Then these dating services branch out...